John Gavin Malkovich (born December 9, 1953) is an American actor and director. He has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award nominations. He has also appeared in films such as Empire of the Sun, The Killing Fields, Con Air, Of Mice and Men, Being John Malkovich, Burn After Reading, RED, and Warm Bodies, as well as producing films such as Ghost World, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Malkovich was born in Christopher, Illinois. His paternal grandparents were Croatian natives of Ozalj. His mother was of English, French, German, and Scottish ancestry. He grew up in Benton, Illinois, in a large house on South Main Street, where his next door neighbor was future Olympic and NBA basketball star and coach, Doug Collins. His father, Daniel Leon Malkovich, was a state conservation director and publisher of Outdoor Illinois, a conservation magazine. His mother, Joe Anne (née Choisser) (1928–2009), owned the Benton Evening News, as well as Outdoor Illinois. Malkovich has three younger sisters and an older brother.
Malkovich attended Logan Grade School, Webster Junior High School, and Benton Consolidated High School. During his high school years, he appeared in various plays and the musical Carousel. He was also a member of a folk gospel group, singing in area churches and community events. He was also was a member of a local summer theater/comedy project where he co-starred in Jean-Claude van Itallie's America Hurrah in 1972. Upon graduating from high school, he entered Eastern Illinois University, and then transferred to Illinois State University, where he majored in theater.
In 1976, Malkovich, along with Joan Allen, Gary Sinise and Glenne Headly, became a charter member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. He moved to New York City in 1980 to appear in a Steppenwolf production of the Sam Shepard play True West for which he won an Obie Award. In early 1982, he appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire with Chicago's Wisdom Bridge Theatre. Malkovich then directed a Steppenwolf co-production, the 1984 revival of Lanford Wilson's Balm in Gilead, for which he received a second Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award. His Broadway debut that year was as Biff in Death of a Salesman alongside Dustin Hoffman as Willy. Malkovich won an Emmy Award for this role when the play was adapted for television by CBS in 1985.
One of the actor's first film roles was as an extra alongside Allen, Terry Kinney, George Wendt and Laurie Metcalf in Robert Altman's 1978 film A Wedding. He made his feature film debut in 1984 as Sally Field's blind boarder Mr. Will in Places in the Heart. For his portrayal of Mr. Will, Malkovich received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also portrayed Al Rockoff in The Killing Fields. He continued to have steady work in films such as Empire of the Sun, directed by Steven Spielberg, and the 1987 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. A few years later, Malkovich became a star when he portrayed the sinister and sensual Valmont in the 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons, a film adaptation of the stage play Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton, who in turn had adapted it from the 1782 novel of the same title by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. He later reprised this role for the music video of "Walking on Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox.
Malkovich starred in the 1992 film adaptation of John Steinbeck's award-winning novella Of Mice and Men as Lennie alongside Gary Sinise as George. In 1994, he was nominated for another Oscar, in the same category, for In the Line of Fire. Though he played the title role in the Charlie Kaufman-penned Being John Malkovich, he played a slight variation of himself, as indicated by the character's middle name of "Horatio". Malkovich has a cameo in the movie Adaptation.—also written by Kaufman—appearing as himself during the filming of Being John Malkovich. The Dancer Upstairs, Malkovich's directorial film debut, was released in 2002. In the same year he took the title role in Ripley's Game.
Malkovich has hosted three episodes of the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live. The first occasion was in January 1989 with musical guest Anita Baker; the second in October 1993 with musical guest Billy Joel (and special appearance by former cast member Jan Hooks); and the third was in December 2008 with musical guest T.I. with Swizz Beatz (and special appearances by Justin Timberlake, Molly Sims and Jamie-Lynn Sigler).
In keeping with his renaissance-man image, he created his own fashion company, Mrs. Mudd, in 2002. The company released its John Malkovich menswear collection, "Uncle Kimono," in 2003, which was subsequently covered in international press, and its second clothing line, "Technobohemian," in 2010. Malkovich designed the outfits himself.
In a 2008 interview on College Hour, Malkovich revealed that he has been discussing making a motion picture adaptation of the Arnon Grunberg novel The Story of My Baldness.
In 2008, Malkovich portrayed the story of Jack Unterweger in a performance for one actor, two sopranos, and period orchestra entitled Seduction and Despair, which premiered at Barnum Hall in Santa Monica, CA. A fully staged version of the production, entitled The Infernal Comedy premiered in Vienna in July 2009. The show has since been performed in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 throughout Europe, North America and South America.
Also in 2008, Malkovich played the title role in the film "The Great Buck Howard," a role inspired by the mentalist The Amazing Kreskin. Colin Hanks co-starred and his father, Tom Hanks, appeared as his on-screen father. In November 2009, Malkovich appeared in an advertisement for Nespresso with fellow actor George Clooney. He portrayed Quentin Turnbull in the film adaption of Jonah Hex.
In 2012, he directed a production of a newly adapted French-language version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses for the Théâtre de l'Atelier in Paris. The production has a limited engagement in July 2013 at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
Malkovich stars in his first video game role in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare alongside Bill Paxton, Jon Bernthal and Rose McGowan in the "Exo Zombies" mode. Malkovich appeared with Randall Park in the music video for Eminem single "Phenomenal".
Malkovich was married to actress Glenne Headly from 1982 to 1988. They divorced after Malkovich became involved with Michelle Pfeiffer on the set of Dangerous Liaisons. He later met his long-term partner Nicoletta Peyran on the set of The Sheltering Sky, where she was the second assistant director, in 1989. They have two children, Amandine and Loewy.
Malkovich is fluent in French, and for nearly 10 years, lived and worked in a theater in Southern France. He and his family left France in a dispute over taxes in 2003, and he has since lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In a 2008 interview on the Late Show with David Letterman, Malkovich said he had just spent five weeks that summer living in France. He is also the co-owner of a restaurant called "Bica do Sapato", located in Lisbon, Portugal.
Malkovich stated in a 2011 interview that "I'm not a political person actually, and I don't have an ideology". He also said that he had not voted since George McGovern lost his presidential run in 1972. However, according to actor William Hootkins, Malkovich is "so right-wing you have to wonder if he's kidding".
When asked in an interview with the Toronto Star whether it was necessary to have spiritual beliefs to portray a spiritual character, Malkovich said: "No, I'd say not... I'm an atheist. I wouldn't say I'm without spiritual belief particularly, or rather, specifically. Maybe I'm agnostic, but I'm not quite sure there's some great creator somehow controlling everything and giving us free will. I don't know; it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me."
In a 2002 appearance at the Cambridge Union Society, when asked whom he would most like to fight to the death, Malkovich replied that he would "rather just shoot" journalist Robert Fisk and Scottish politician George Galloway, apparently motivated by the latter's outspoken criticism of Israeli military actions in Palestinian territories and his opposition to the imminent war in Iraq. Both Fisk and Galloway reacted with outrage.
On June 6, 2013, Malkovich saved a 77-year-old man's life after the man tripped in the streets of Toronto and slashed his throat on scaffolding as he fell. Malkovich applied pressure to the man's neck before the man was rushed to a hospital, where he received stitches. Malkovich left as soon as the man was safe in the hands of paramedics.
He is known for his wish to maintain a private life and often travels under different aliases. Some known false names given by Mr. Malkovich, as reported by BuzzFeed here, are 'Arturo Grondona', 'Felix Plebs', and 'Lindsay Jones'.
Awards and nominations
|1984||Places in the Heart||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1984||Places in the Heart||Won|
|1984||Places in the Heart||National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1984||Places in the Heart||National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1984||Places in the Heart||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1984||The Killing Fields||Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1984||The Killing Fields||National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1985||Death of a Salesman||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie||Won|
|1985||Death of a Salesman||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|1991||Queens Logic||Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male||Nominated|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Nominated|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture||Nominated|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||MTV Movie Award for Best Villain||Nominated|
|1993||In the Line of Fire||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1994||Heart of Darkness||Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Nominated|
|1994||Heart of Darkness||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Nominated|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor||Won|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|1999||Being John Malkovich||Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|1999||RKO 281||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie||Nominated|
|2002||Napoléon||Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie||Nominated|
|2008||Burn After Reading||St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor||Won|
|2010||RED||Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Nominated|
|2010||RED||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|